Student initially listed in critical condition recounts Westfield High School stage collapse

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WESTFIELD, Ind. (April 24, 2015) - She was in the middle of it all when a stage collapsed during a play at Westfield High School. 16-year-old Westfield High School Sophomore Desi Hoffman was released from the hospital Friday afternoon. She left with only the scar in her memory of a terrifying night gone wrong. Now, her family is demanding answers.

“All of us were on stage at dress rehearsal the night before and it was fine nothing happened at all,” said Hoffman.

From her hospital bed, Hoffman recalled the night singing turned to screaming, “I didn’t hear it crack, it just all collapsed, it just fell. I just saw everyone was falling,” she said.

She was standing on the stage at Westfield High School that came crumbling down during a student performance. Dozens of students collapsed along with it.

“I was told it was my boyfriend who pulled me out and then I guess he went to go help other people,” said Hoffman.

She joined the cast in a last minute decision; it was a decision she had enjoyed every second of. Now though, she’s recovering from a concussion, and still very much in shock.

“It just seemed unreal, like everyone was there and then they were just gone and I know I was one of the people who was there and then just gone,” she said.

“I don’t know if it was really tested and if they had all those kids going up there and if they were jumping up and down, why wasn’t this inspected or tested more thoroughly,” said Desi’s dad, Richard McMannis.

Hoffman’s mom and dad want answers.

“I would’ve thought they would’ve inspected it, they have all these high schoolers on there… was it something built just for this; was it something you had built already and you put over it? How good was it tested?” asked Desi’s Mom, Jennifer McMannis.

“All of us were on stage at dress rehearsal the night before and it was fine nothing happened at all,” said Hoffman.

Trauma surgeons at St. Vincent Hospital where students were taken Thursday, among all the students that were injured, Hoffman had the most severe injury, a concussion.

Lexi Schlink and Taylor Knight were two other performers that were taken to the hospital after the Westfield Stage collapsed.

"Nothing is broken, technically it's badly sprained and I'll have to be in crutches and in a boot," explains sophomore Lexi Schlink.

Last night's performance was the first for both girls. "We all started dancing and jumping around and before we knew it there was no ground and we were just falling," explains junior Taylor Knight.

Friday, after school there was a meeting for cast and crew members to just come together and to take it all in.  "I got to speak with other cast members that had boots or on crutches or sprained wrists.  There were so many injuries," explains Schlink.

All the injured performers said they can't wait to be back next year.

"I don't think this is the end of our American Pie.  Our American Pie family is going to rock on forever," says Schlink.